Management of Museum Collections at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve
Museum collections are one of the most important resources of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. They are tangible, authentic pieces of the past from native peoples, Fort Vancouver, Pearson Field, and Vancouver Barracks.
The legislatively-mandated partners of the Historic Reserve - the City of Vancouver, the State of Washington, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Army - agreed that the National Park Service would be the lead agency for the care of museum collections.
This decision reflected the professional museum policies of the National Park Service, the second-largest museum system in the nation after the Smithsonian. National Park Service curators are held to the highest standards, and are the caretakers of some of our nation's most special treasures.
For many years, professional curators at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site have cared for museum items associated with the Historic Reserve, over two million archaeological and historic artifacts housed in a secure, climate-controlled facility on site. The exception was the Pearson Air Museum collection.
In 2010, with the permission of the City of Vancouver, the National Park Service began safeguarding the portion of the Pearson Air Museum collection that was held in storage. We do not own the items, but are caring for them on behalf of the City of Vancouver. This is still the case, and we will continue to do so unless directed otherwise by the City.
We have received many inquiries about the Pearson Air Museum exhibits and artifacts that were on display until early last week. These items were removed from the building by the Fort Vancouver National Trust. We hope they will be returned to the museum as we move toward its reopening as a free public museum. For more information on these items, we respectfully suggest you contact the City of Vancouver.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the Pacific Northwest’s first hospital, school, orchard, library, grist mill, saw mill, shipyard, and dairy were all established at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver? Learn more about this by visiting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site! More...